A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.
Screenwriter Dixon Steele, faced with the odious task of scripting a trashy bestseller, has hat-check girl Mildred Atkinson tell him the story in her own words. Later that night, Mildred is murdered and Steele is a prime suspect; his record of belligerence when angry and his macabre sense of humor tell against him. Fortunately, lovely neighbor Laurel Gray gives him an alibi. Laurel proves to be just what Steele needed, and their friendship ripens into love. Will suspicion, doubt, and Steele's inner demons come between them? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Though the title and characters are based on Dorothy B. Hughes's novel, the biggest difference between book and movie is that in the movie Dixon Steele, though violent, is only accused of being a murderer whilst in the book he is a serial killer and rapist. Director Nicholas Ray claimed that he made the change because he was "more interested in doing a film about the violence in all of us, rather than a mass murder film or one about a psychotic." Hughes was never bothered by the changes from her novel and praised Gloria Grahame's performance. See more »
In the final scene when Dixon hurls Laurel onto the bed and lands on top of her, his watch in the foreground quite visibly shows that is about 4 o'clock. However, the mantle clock on the shelf behind them shows the time as 6 o'clock. See more »
Bogart stretches his acting muscles and allows his vulnerability to be on display in this realistic gut-wrenching love story. Gloria Grahame, one of the underrated great US actresses of the 40's and 50's, has an electrifying chemistry with Bogie, touching a side that we'd never seen -- not even with Lauren Bacall, laced with an odd kind of violent tenderness. Frank Lovejoy heads a fantastic supporting cast, heavy on three-dimensional characterisations. This unknown classic is Bogie's most complete performance ever. I give it 10 out of 10.
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